Chinese, American, Italian, British, Dutch and South Korean oil firms were among those who on Tuesday rejected the terms laid down by the Iraqi government to work in four separate oil fields.

China's CNOOC and Sinopec wanted 25.4 dollars per barrel extracted from the Maysan oil field but the government offered them only 2.3 dpb.
The US energy giant ConocoPhillips, meanwhile, asked for 26.7 dollars per barrel to work in the Bai Hassan oil field but the government offered 4.0 dpb.

The government was dealt another blow when a consortium featuring Sinopec, Italy's Eni Medio Orient SpA, America's Occidental Petroleum and South Korea's Korea Gas Corp (Kogas) withdrew from bidding for the Zubair oil field.

It asked to be paid 4.8 dollars per barrel extracted, which was the best of four separate offers submitted to the government for the field, but the oil ministry offered to pay only two dollars per barrel.

Five proposals for the West Qurna field also fell by the wayside, with the leading 4.0 dpb offer from ExxonMobil and Royal Dutch Shell being deemed over the odds by the government, which offered 1.9 dollars per barrel.